There’s a common misconception that only novice riders experience fear in the saddle. However, that certainly isn’t the case. In fact, from time to time, every rider will inevitably experience some anxiety, no matter whether they’re a professional, amateur, dressage rider, or show jumper. So, if you’re nervous about cantering your horse, you certainly don’t need to feel that you’re alone. All riders feel afraid every now and then, and the good news, though, is that you can get over your fears eventually.
The secret to success lies in taking the right approach.
There’s a lot of reasons why you may be struggling with cantering, but the power to overcome your fears lies in your own hands. So, don’t let your worries get you down – instead, try these 10 top tricks and tips to try to help you feel more comfortable and confident about transitioning to a canter.
7.Don't Forget To Breathe!
Forgetting to breathe isn't going to do you any favours at the best of times, and certainly not when you're riding. A surprising number of riders are concentrating so hard when they're in the saddle that they don't realise they're unintentionally holding their breath. Apart from being very uncomfortable for you, it won't help your horse either. If they detect you're no longer breathing, they're going to think something's gone wrong, and that's going to make them uneasy.
Try to breathe out slowly through your mouth while making your transition to cantering and you'll feel more relaxed.
8.Invest In More Horse Training
When horses are inexperienced or have never been properly trained to transition well to cantering, you can't expect them to effortlessly canter without further help. Ask a skilled rider to help you with training so that they can accept the right aids for cantering.
A BHS-qualified coach is the best choice to work with you to help you improve your skills.
9.Make Use Of Visualisation
It might sound far-fetched, but in fact many riders find that visualisation works wonders when it comes to boosting their confidence during cantering. For this trick to work, though, you have to add in plenty of detail. Focus on how you'd like to feel, and what you'd like to hear and see during cantering. Creating a really positive story, with no negatives in the visualisation will help you get in the right mindset for success.
The human mind responds well to imagery. Shut your eyes from time to time when you aren't in the saddle and practice transitioning your horse to a canter.
10.Take Cantering At The Right Pace For You
We've all been guilty at some point of feeling as if we should have reached a goal by a certain stage and of being disappointed in ourselves for not achieving that aim. But pushing yourself and your horse too hard is a bad idea. Rest assured, you'll both get there eventually, and it's far more important to feel prepared and confident when starting to canter.
Take small but positive steps as you work towards reaching your goal every day. As your confidence increases, you're going to really enjoying cantering, I promise!